How KYC can be crucial for age verification in the gambling sector


The UK Gambling Commission recently reported that 450,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 have gambled regularly. Accessibility to online gambling has never been easier and so it’s inevitable that under 18’s will try to access gambling services. It is therefore of the utmost importance that operators utilise as many tools and data sources as possible to obtain the most accurate picture of a new customer, whilst continuing to find the most frictionless sign up and onboarding experience.

It comes as no surprise, then, that the National Lottery has recently announced that it will be raising its age restrictions to 18 years from 16 by October 2021 which, according to a statement from Oliver Dowden MP, will help to protect young and vulnerable people. This comes as an effort to standardise the age requirements across the entire gambling industry in the UK and follows recent Government changes to stop the use of credit cards on gambling sites, putting tighter restrictions on an already difficult market.

In the Gambling Commission’s annual survey on Gambling Participation in 2019: behaviour, awareness and attitudes, it was reported that of those gambling on their mobile phones, 76% were between 18 and 24 years old, which is projected to rise in 2021. The Gambling industry is subject to enormous scrutiny and so KYC (Know Your Customer) becomes a vital and imperative element of adopting new players. Age verification and KYC comes in many formats, from taking a simple online declaration in some markets, to uploading a driving licence and utility bill in others. However, what is the best way to perform KYC checks?

What is KYC?

KYC and identity verification is ensuring a customer is who they say they are, by verifying their details, for example their forename, surname, date of birth or address. Developments to electoral roll lookups and date of birth sources makes KYC checks a reliable tool in ensuring players are of age and that companies are complying with Gambling Commission requirements.

Having a customer input their mobile phone number during the onboarding process is a frictionless method of gaining an important unique identifier for a consumer. Used in conjunction with a KYC lookup using Fonix’s API enables a gambling operator to verify the name, postcode and date of birth with the verified information held for that person by the Mobile Network Operator. Matching this data forms an important part of an operator’s KYC and AML checks, all whilst keeping the onboarding process as frictionless as possible.

To get in touch with Fonix, contact us at for further assistance and to discuss your KYC requirements.